Åsgård psychiatric hospital in Tromsø, Norway is a rather tired-looking facility, its squat buildings mindful of institutional architecture from the Cold War era, and in terms of its geographic location, it could hardly be located further from the centers of western psychiatry. Tromsø lies 215 miles north of the Arctic Circle, with tourists coming during the winter months to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights. Yet it is in this remote outpost, on a hospital floor that had been closed but was recently refurbished, that one can find a startling sign on the door to the ward: medikamentfritt behandlingstilbud.
The translation to English: medication free treatment. And this is an initiative that the Norwegian Ministry of Health ordered its four regional health authorities to create.
The title—medication free treatment—does not precisely capture the nature of…
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